Bostik Leagues: Hendon stay top of Premier; Wingate & Finchley, Harrow Borough lose; Ralston Gabriel nets hat-trick in Haringey Borough success
- Credit: Archant
Bostik Premier: Worthing 1 Hendon 2; Kingstonian 1 Wingate & Finchley 2; Harrow Borough 1 Brightlingsea Regent 2; Bostik North: Haringey Borough 4 Norwich United 0
With the South coast buffeted by the strong winds of Storm Brian, Saturday was never going to be a day for high quality football, and so it proved as Hendon managed to grind out a victory at winless Worthing, leaving the Greens at the top of the table.
The first half ended goalless at both sides struggled to adapt to the testing conditions. In theory, Hendon should have benefitted with the wind at their backs, but in reality the result was a litany of over-hit passes going out for throw-ins or goal kicks. Indeed, it was the Rebels who started the brightest, playing some neat attacking football and testing the visitors on a number of occasions.
Hendon also posed the occasional threat, although a number of their better attacks merely resulted in crosses that were either inaccurate or met by a decided lack of attacking personnel in the opposition’s box.
Worthing’s Alex Parsons squandered the first significant chance of the encounter, Hendon’s Tom Lovelock saving well with his legs after Parsons was played through after a neat passage of play. Lovelock repeated the feat a few minutes later after Reece Meekums raced in on goal. Hendon applied some pressure too. Some excellent attacking play from Daniel Uchechi down the left resulted in him pulling the ball back across the Worthing box, but there was sadly no-one there from Hendon to capitalise on Uchechi’s enterprise.
The end of the first half saw Keagan Cole pick up a booking after a petulant trip – earning him a ban that will see him miss out on the forthcoming FA Trophy tie on Saturday.
The second half was an eventful affair, the early stages seeing several free kicks and corners for both sides that ultimately came to nothing – the conditions doing nothing to assist either side. It was the home side that broke the deadlock within the opening ten minutes of the second period, Alfie Young firing in a great volley from distance into the bottom left corner of the Hendon net.
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This roused the Greens somewhat, immediately trying to level things up with a flurry of corners and pressing play. Worthing’s Henry Watson picked up a yellow card, followed into the book by Uchechi for a deliberate handball. Worthing launched a sustained period of pressure as the looked for both a second goal and their first victory of the season. A combination of wayward finishing, bad luck, heroic Hendon defending and a couple of smart stops by Lovelock meant that they could not extend their lead.
Gary McCann made his first change, Cole replaced by Kezie Ibe, and Hendon soon found an equaliser. A great cross by Jake Eggleton was superbly poked past the Worthing keeper from an acute angle by Niko Muir with just under 20 minutes to play.
With 10 minutes left, McCann signalled his intention to grab all three points by replacing Daniel Uchechi with Ashley Nathaniel-George and Zak Joseph with Josh Walker. The impact was almost instantaneous, Walker smashing the ball home with a cool volley just five minutes after coming on.
With 90 minutes approaching, Worthing had a couple of faint chances to rescue a point, but it was the league leaders who travelled north with all three points leaving Worthing’s bumper crowd of noisy supporters still waiting for their first league win,
Report by Bryan Roberts.
There was late heartbreak for Wingate & Finchley as they conceded in stoppage time to lose 2-1 away to Kingstonian.
The Blues fell behind in just the fourth minute when Sam Alderson netted the opener for Kingstonian.
However, Keith Rowland’s side went into the break level after Ahmet Rifat found the target in the 36th minute.
With Wingate seemingly on course for a point, they conceded a second in the 92nd minute, with Alec Fiddes scoring to condemn the visitors to defeat.
Harrow Borough were undone by a Tom Richardson brace as they lost 2-1 at home to Brightlingsea Regent.
Richardson netted his first goal of the afternoon for the Rs in the 18th minute, before doubling up six minutes into the second half.
Curtis Ujah scored for Borough in the 61st minute to offer hope of a comeback, but the hosts ultimately fell short.
A Ralston Gabriel hat-trick helped Haringey Borough down Norwich United 4-0 at home in the Bostik North.
Anthony McDonald opened the scoring for Tom Loizou’s men in the 20th minute, with Gabriel netting his first four minutes later.
The attacker found the net again in the 31st and 39th minute to secure the match ball before the break in a comfortable success for the Greens.